Chapter 303 – Mu Chen Resigns
The look Yuanen shot Yue Zhengyu was cold enough to freeze. “This area is for working students only. Please leave. Are you aware of the consequences for private battles on campus?”
Yue Zhengyu snorted, eyes flashing with irritation. “Private battles are not permitted on the Academy’s premises. But swapping pointers? That’s a different story. It’s pretty much encouraged. In fact, come join me in a spar if you think you’ve got what it takes.”
“Not interested.” Without sparing him another glance, Yuanen left for the dormitory, footsteps trailing behind him.
“You!” Yue Zhengyu cut himself short before he boiled over. Somehow, he had the sense of mind to understand his place; it wouldn’t do for him to erupt here. Chest heaving, he huffed, “You’re hiding an evil soul master. It wouldn’t be in your best interests to cover for her.”
Yuanen stopped mid-step, turning his neck and fixing him with a heated glare. “Evil soul master? The Academy has judged there to be nothing of the sort here, so who are you to say there are?”
Yue Zhengyu returned his stare, intense. “I saw it with my own eyes.”
“Then think of a way to prove it,” Yuanen said dismissively. “Let me remind you that only working students can enter the working student dormitory. If you set foot in our territory, by the Academy’s rules, we have the right to deal with you as we see fit. You’ll be disciplined harshly as well.”
There are rules in place for the working student dormitory? Tang Wulin’s eyes popped. Being a working student seemed more attractive than ever.
“You! What’s so amazing about working students!” Yue Zhengyu scoffed in disdain.
“I invite you to try something then. Can I take your words as a declaration of war against all working students?” Word after word of Yuanen stabbed into Yue Zhengyu like daggers.
Yue Zhengyu’s determined expression wavered. He had some understanding of working students. For one, they were basically a group of geniuses. Disregarding the current batch, working students of previous generations had stepped foot within the inner court, cultivating much power and influence, rising up to become inner court elites.
“Of course I have a way to prove it!” Yue Zhengyu narrowed his eyes so tight they resembled slits. A crafty smile crawled its way across his lips in the meanwhile. With a soft thud, his feet touched the ground, and he flicked one last glance at Yuanen before leaving.
At the sight of the other man’s departure, Tang Wulin approached Yuanen’s side. “Do we really not have a red-haired student here?”
Yuanen furrowed his brows. “Why are you asking too?”
Following this question, Tang Wulin recounted what he had witnessed at the drink shop back then. At the end of his story, a crack appeared in Yuanen’s calm mask, though he shook his head. “I’m absolutely certain there isn’t anyone like that here. Anyway, I’m going to return first.”
Watching him leave, Tang Wulin had the sinking suspicion Yuanen was brushing this matter under the rug. A normal person wouldn’t have caught on, but the advancement in his bloodline amplified his perception. There was something off about Yuanen.
Back in his room, Tang Wulin was surprised to find his teammates nowhere in sight. He hadn’t a clue where they went, and as he contemplated their location, he was hit with the reminder to do something he’d planned a while ago. Shoving a hand into his pockets, he pulled out a soul communicator. He dialed a number with practiced precision.
“Teacher, I made it into Shrek Academy.” Tang Wulin couldn’t contain the excitement in his voice, and it spilled through the device.
“You did it? Great! As expected of my student.” Mu Chen broke into roaring laughter.
There was no denying it; Mu Chen felt happy for his student from the bottom of his heart. Although Tang Wulin was a heaven-defying genius blacksmith, his lacking soul power restricted his growth in that field. But things were different now that he was in Shrek Academy. Even if Tang Wulin only managed to graduate from the outer court, his cultivation foundation would be incredibly stable, guaranteeing success as a soul master. With a wealth of soul power to draw on, there’d be few bumps in his path as a blacksmith. Not to mention, he was just fourteen years old! His future was boundless!
“Teacher, there’s something I need to talk to you about,” Tang Wulin said after a moment of hesitation.
“What is it?”
“I’ve broken through.” Tang Wulin’s eyes gleamed.
“Broken through? To rank 30? No way. Weren’t you just rank 26 or 27 before you left? How could you break through so quickly? Did you eat some heavenly treasure?” Mu Chen asked, shock thick in his voice.
“That’s not what I meant. I made a breakthrough in forging. I tried spirit refining and succeeded.”
The line went silent.
“Teacher, are you still there?”
“Yes, I’m still here. Explain to me what happened.” Mu Chen’s lack of reaction left Tang Wulin flabbergasted.
Isn’t becoming a fifth-rank blacksmith at thirteen something surprising?
“On the day of the exam…” Tang Wulin proceeded to recite the events, not sparing a single detail. He even explained how he had felt during the process, the sensations that cascaded through his body, in hopes that Mu Chen would help analyze the entire situation and shed light on his current level.
“Good preparation is the key to success!” Mu Chen said, after listening to Tang Wulin’s recount. “But that was far too dangerous. You absolutely must not attempt spirit refining again before you reach rank 30. I’ll come visit you in a few days and we can continue our conversation then.”
“Yes, Teacher. You’re coming to Shrek?” Tang Wulin asked, astonished.
“Mhm. I’ve been here too long now. It’s about time for a change in scenery and Shrek is a pretty nice place. In any case, congratulations. Although you’ve only succeeded spirit refining once, you’re still a fifth-rank blacksmith now, and you’ve accomplished this at the tender age of thirteen! You’re an outstanding genius no matter the profession.”
“Thank you, Teacher.” Tang Wulin grinned.
Tang Wulin then recounted in vivid detail his experience right after his classes began and his encounter with Feng Wuyu. Through it all, Mu Chen listened in silence, withholding his opinions.
Over in Eastsea City, Mu Chen wore an expression that was anything but calm. After the call with Tang Wulin ended, he quickly dialed another number.
“I want two train tickets to Shrek City, scheduled for three days from now.”
I can’t sit here twiddling my thumbs anymore. If I don’t go, my disciple might get snatched away! No matter what, I can’t let him steal my treasured disciple.
Following this thought, Mu Chen made another call.
“Hello, I’m Mu Chen. Please connect me to the President.”
“Oh, he’s holding a meeting right now? Okay. Tell him that I’m resigning.”
Tang Wulin sat there at a loss. He didn’t know how much of a shock he had given Mu Chen nor where his teammates were. He chose to remain in the room.
After joining Shrek Blacksmith’s Association, he secured a steady source of contribution points. He gained a deep insight regarding the background of working students too. Now standing at the top of his list was self-improvement, his goal set at reaching rank 30.
He spent an entire afternoon meditating. The Mysterious Heaven Method was slow to cultivate, but it emphasized creating a firm foundation.
Tang Wulin met with Yuanen for his free dinner, engaging in his alternative cultivation method once more.
For the sake of not drawing too much attention, he found a table in the corner and dragged his friends to eat with him, introducing them to Yuanen at the same time.
“Senior Yuanen, how many working students are there right now?” Xie Xie’s eyes sparkled after hearing the legend of the working students, and couldn’t help himself from asking this question.
Yuanen turned to him. “There were six of us last year. Two graduated, two entered the inner court, and one withdrew from the Academy. So I’m the only one left of the previous batch. Counting you guys, there are five of us now.”
“You’re the only one left?” Tang Wulin stared at Yuanen in confusion.
But I clearly remember seeing a working student’s badge on that girl! Even the enforcer recognized it! If Yuanen’s telling the truth, then who is that girl?
Huh. Then those rooms that looked lived in should be empty now.
Before he could finish his thoughts, someone came over to their table. “Who are you trying to trick, saying you’re the only working student left in your year? What about that red-haired girl?”
Yuanen glowered toward Yue Zhengyu. “You’re really a leech that never lets go!”
Yue Zhengyu made a dignified face. “To eradicate evil is the duty of every Holy Angel soul master! This is merely my responsibility. Stop hiding her from me, otherwise you’ll face the consequences of doing so once I catch her.”
“You’re not welcome here,” Yuanen said coldly.
A smile formed on Yue Zhengyu’s lips. He pulled a chair from another table over and sat down. “Why aren’t I welcome? Don’t you working students have to pay for your food? I’ll treat you all this time.”
“No thank you,” Tang Wulin said.
Yue Zhengyu flicked a leisurely glance at him. “You sure do have a lot of backbone.”